19 DAYS OF ACTIVISM: Special Kids Partners through Feeding Therapy for Children with Special Needs

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Feeding at Special Kids in Murfreesboro

Special Kids Therapy and Nursing Center is excited to partner with The Child Advocacy Center for the 19 Days of Activism to bring awareness to issues negatively effecting the health of children. This year, the campaign's theme centers around malnutrition, an issue Special Kids addresses through its therapy services.

Special Kids offers feeding therapy to children in middle Tennessee in order to address the causes of feeding difficulties. This specialized therapy serves children with food aversions, swallowing disorders, oral motor deficits, and delayed feeding development that can result in a lack of nutritional nourishment.

"We work very systematically and slowly to increase child's tolerance of the food," said Christian Vaughan, Speech Specialist at Special Kids. "You see where the child is in the moment and slowly move through the continuum until they increase their nutrition and fill that void they are not getting."

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A variety of diagnoses may contribute to weakness or in-coordination of the structures used in swallowing or feeding. Also, feeding aversions may range from being a little picky to extreme aversions that lead to a child refusing most foods and not being able to maintain proper nourishment.

"We work with problem feeders as well as picky eaters," said Vaughan. "Problem feeders eat less than 20 foods and sometimes exclude whole food groups."

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Feeding therapy focuses on presenting new foods in a systematic and non-threatening way. Special Kids has both speech and occupational therapists that are trained in providing results and evidence-based feeding therapy. Skills that Special Kids' feeding therapy program addresses include food selectivity from taste or texture, swallowing disorders, limited food intake or refusal, and transitioning from a feeding tube to oral food intake.

To learn more about Special Kids' feeding therapy program or other therapy and nursing services, visit specialkidstn.com or call 615.809.2632. Special Kids is a Christian therapy and nursing center for children with special needs. The Murfreesboro-based ministry started with one child in 1998 and has grown to serve over 3,100 children from 18 counties in middle Tennessee.

Special Kids would like to thank the Child Advocacy Center for inviting the nonprofit to participate in the 19 Days of Activism to raise awareness for children in the middle Tennessee community.

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